United stayed at the summit by generating €676.3m in turnover – down from €689m the previous season and only €1.7m above Madrid, which leapfrogged domestic rival Barcelona into second place.
The highest-ranking French Ligue 1 club was Paris Saint-Germain in seventh place (€468.5m) and the top Italian Serie A club was Juventus in 10th spot (€405.7m). Napoli, also from Serie A, as well as Premier League duo Southampton and Everton, were new entrants in the top 20.
The combined revenue for the top 20 clubs in the rankings grew by six per cent to a record €7.9bn.
United’s Uefa Europa League victory was critical to the club topping the Money League, with the club receiving €44.5m in payments from European governing body Uefa – over four times more than Atlético de Madrid received in 2011-12 for winning the same competition.
Meanwhile Real Madrid’s Uefa Champions League and domestic title-winning season saw its revenue rise by €54.5m. A record 10 Premier League clubs feature in the top 20, generating a total revenue of €3.8bn, helped by the fact that 2016-17 was the first season of the current record Premier League media-rights cycle.
“United’s ability to retain first position is all the more impressive against the backdrop of the weakened Pound against the Euro, and with both Real Madrid and Barcelona forecasting further revenue growth in 2017-18, the battle at the top will likely come down to on-pitch performance again next year,” Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said.
“With all three clubs through to the Round of 16 of the Uefa Champions League, it may be as simple as the club that goes furthest in the competition will have the best chance of topping the Money League next year.”